The word “Tlaquepaque” means “Place on knolls of clay land,” although there are other versions that are inclined to “men who craft clay pieces (“Tlacapan”)”. Tlaquepaque is a city on the outskirts of Guadalajara, but yet tacos tlaquepaque are very popular and said to be original from Monterrey! Yes, Monterrey, my most cherished childhood memories were made there. And what does chorreados mean? When describing these tacos with salsa tlaquepaque randomly poured over the top, it can make them look a bit messy, even dirty with salsa dripping every where!
NO FORKS AND KNIVES ALLOWED!
That’s right, no forks and knives to enjoy these delicious barbacoa tacos. Dig right in with your hands! Tlaquepaque tacos are meant to messy. Make sure there are plenty of napkins handy and that your plate is close in case the salsa drips. Steer clear of wearing white on this day, lol! You are probably thinking that these tacos look just like enchiladas. Close, but traditionally there is no cheese or crema for these tacos. The salsa can range in color depending on what dried chiles are used or how long the salsa cooks.
It’s all about trying to experience the flavors!
I remember someone once asked me, “What part of Mexico are you cooking from?” My main inspiration is Monterrey, Nuevo Leon or Northern Mexico style of dishes. Dishes like asado de puerco, pork tamales and costillas de puerco all include a salsa similar to this one. Big difference is those do not include instant coffee.
If I am going to invest the time, then I will do it up right!
Many times these tacos are served in a slightly smaller corn tortilla and doubled up so there no chance of the taco tearing when you are enjoying it. Since I was preparing homemade corn tortillas, I didn’t find it necessary to serve with double tortillas. Store bought tortillas tend to be thinner, so doubling up is perfect for tacos like these.
Go with the flow and adapt!
This is my general attitude in life and even with my recipes. I state this all of the time. Recipes are just a guideline. Some salsa tlaquepaque recipes may call for chile piquin, some may not. Go mild and use only the guajillo peppers. Don’t get hung up or stuck on a recipe if you can’t find a certain chile pepper.
If you are not preparing homemade tortillas, find a good quality store bought tortilla. It makes all the difference in recipes like this.
The salsa will vary in color from a rusty color to a darker brownish color depending on the peppers used. My salsa was warming for quite a while before I plated, so it was a little darker.
Please excuse my messy fingers as I am enjoying these delicious Tacos!
Salsa Tlaquepaque! Tacos Chorreados!
- 7 tomatillos, 431 gr, 15 oz
- 2 dried ancho peppers, 40 gr
- 8 dried chile guajillo, 55 gr
- 8 dried chile de arbol, 9 gr
- 1 tbsps dried chile del monte, piquin or chiltepin, 4 gr
- 7 cloves of garlic, 34 gr
- 2-4 tsps instant coffee
- Salt, to taste
- Avocado oil or natural rendered pork lard
- Beef Cheek Barbacoa see link in notes
- 12-16 Homemade Taqueria corn tortillas see link in notes or use store bought tortillas taqueria style
- 1 c onion, diced
- 1/2 c cilantro, finely chopped
- lime wedges
- Peel and wash the tomatillos. Add them to a pot filled with 5 cups of water. Bring up to a light boil at medium heat. Cook them just until they turn from bright green to olive green most of the way. Cover them and set them aside.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho and guajillo. Remove just the stems from the chile de arbol. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil and heat to medium. Add the garlic, chile piquin and chile de arbol. After a few minutes it should begin to sizzle and become aromatic. Stirring often, continue cooking until garlic lightly browns and chiles darken in some spots. Transfer to the blender jar.
- In that same skillet at medium heat, lightly fry and toast the chile ancho and guajillos for 1-2 minutes, turning often. Transfer to the blender jar.
- To the blender, pour in 2 cups of the cooking water from the tomatillos. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend on high until very smooth. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked tomatillos to the blender jar. Cover and again, blend on high until smooth. The salsa should be very smooth looking. If it's too thick, pour in more water. It should flow easily. If needed, blend for another minute. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, preheat 2 tablespoons of oil or pork lard at medium heat for a few minutes. Once it's hot, pour in the salsa from the blender. Rinse out the blender jar with 1 cup of water, then pour that into the skillet. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat slightly. In a small bowl mix the instant coffee with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Pour into the simmering salsa. Stir well to combine. Taste for salt. Continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- After preparing the beef cheek barbacoa, transfer the meat to a skillet. Pour in 1 cup of the tlaquepaque salsa and stir well to combine. Cook at heat right below medium, stirring now and then until it becomes thicker and salsa reduces.
- In a skillet preheat 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil at medium heat. Lightly fry the corn tortillas for a few seconds per side to soften them. Transfer tortillas to a piece of foil paper that folds over to cover tortillas. How many tortillas you fry depends on how many tacos you serve per plate.
- Fill softened tortillas with barbacoa and fold over. If using the smaller tortillas, serve three to four tacos per plate. Once plated, pour warm tlaquepaque salsa down the center of tacos. Garnish with cilantro, onion and lime wedges.